MARMET- METEORITES

The Hoba Meteorite (Namibia)

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hoba.iron.jpg
Hoba IVB ATAX; found in Namibia in 1920, 54.9 g with JNMC label (ex Geo Museum Clausthal)

hoba.shale.jpg
Hoba shale piece, 8.8 grams with copies of labels.

The picture above shows a non-metallic shale slab that was removed and collected from the Hoba mass by Dr. L. J. Spencer, F. R. S., Keeper of Minerals at the British Museum in London (now the Natural History Museum) in 1929.

In the same year a group of German geologists visited the Hoba fall site (see picture below) before they went to South Africa to attend an International Conference of Geologists*. It's very likely that Dr. Spencer and his team did the same.

(*source: Natur und Museum, Heft 10, 1931, H. Schneiderhöhn: Der Riesenmeteorit von Hoba-West im Otavibergland, Südwestafrika)

hoba002.jpg
This photo shows a group of German geologists at the Hoba fall site in 1929.

hoba.petra.a.jpg
The Hoba fall site today. Photo courtesy of Petra Tinner, Switzerland

hoba7.92g.new.jpg
7.92 gram thin slice of the Hoba meteorite with museum number.

hoba.gordon.jpg
Left: Old Hoba (Grootfontein) label. Right: Samuel George Gordon (1897-1952)

On the above label the Fourth Academy-Vaux expedition is mentioned. Samuel G. Gorden travelled a lot to get new pieces for the famous Vaux mineral collection of the Academy. On this fourth expedition he also visited the Hoba (Grootfontein) fall site.

Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, June 5th, 1930:

"A stated meeting of the Philadelphia Mineralogical Society was held on the above date.(...) Mr. Samuel G. Gordon, the speaker of the evening, described briefly the Fourth Academy-Vaux expedition. Arriving at Mollendo, Peru, he crossed into Bolivia where considerable time was spent in collecting, then across Argentina to Buenos Aires and via steamer to Rio de Janeiro and Cape Town. His route now crossed what was formerly German Southwest Africa, Rhodesia, Union of South Africa, Belgian Congo and Tanganyika. From Daressalaam on the Indian Ocean, he emparked on a steamer for Marseilles, visiting Paris, London and other European cities before sailing for New York.

(...)

At Grootfontein he visited the largest known meteorite about which a trench has been dug and which permits a close inspection of this immense mass of metal."  (From: The American Mineralogist)

hoba.vaux.jpg
One of several shale pieces that were collected at the Hoba fall site. 14.4 grams w. museum number.

hoba001.jpg
This photo shows an original KEYSTONE PRESS picture (20x25 cm), not dated.

About the Hoba meteorite: The Hoba meteorite is the heaviest meteorite in the world. The meteorite, named after the Hoba West Farm near Grootfontein, Namibia, where it was discovered in 1920, has not been moved since it landed over about 80.000 years ago. The shape of the meteorite is quite unusual: It is flat on both major surfaces.

The Hoba meteorite is a body of metal, measuring 2.7 by 2.7 meters by 0.9 meters. Its mass in 1920 was estimated at 66 tons. In March 1955 the Government of Namibia (then South West Africa) declared the Hoba meteorite a National Monument.

The Hoba meteorite was discovered by the owner of the Hoba West farm. He is said to have encountered the giant meteorite while ploughing one of his fields with an ox. During this task, the farmer heard a loud, metallic, scratching sound before his plough came to a dead stop. The farmer uncovered the meteorite soon after.

hoba003.jpg
This photo shows a postcard with an original stamp (stamped: Windhoek 1988-03.03)

hoba.petra.b.jpg
Info sign at the fall site (in German!). Photo courtesy of Petra Tinner, Switzerland

Hoba Meteorite

This meteorite - the world‘s biggest known single mass - was discovered in 1920 by Jacobus Hermanus Brits. 

On March 15, 1955 the meteorite was declared a national monument with permission of Mrs. O. Scheel who was the owner of the farm at that time.

In 1979, the above declaration was also accepted by the successor on the farm, Mr. J. Jooste.

The current farm owner, Mr. J. Engelbrecht, has donated the terrain around the meteorite and thus made it possible to beautify the aera (1987).